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Rock band Bamboo breaks up, turns a new leaf

File photo courtesy of PolyEast Records
"So here we go – IT’S OFFICIAL – THE BAND – IT’S OVER." So declares a Message from Bamboo, which the lead singer of the popular Pinoy ‘alternative rock’ band posted online Wednesday. Bamboo – the band behind hit songs such as ‘Noypi,’ ‘Halleluja,’ and ‘Tatsulok’ – was founded in 2002 by Bamboo Mañalac, a former vocalist of Rivermaya. The message read on to say: "As a group we’ve come to a point where you have to trust your gut, your heart and your head and accept that all things change. The hardest part as always is to know when to pack it up and part ways." "We’ve learned that this journey is not only about us but includes all who came along for the trip. Family, friends and of course front row believers who were there for the best reason of all. To simply listen. So it didn’t come easy winding down to this decision," it continued. "This is not the end," assured Mañalac. "We move forward for all the right reasons. This is not a sad day. Music will forever be part of our lives and I couldn’t imagine us simply walking away. Not possible. All I see are possibilities." "A chapter closes and a new one begins. So what happens next? I don’t know. 2011 and I readily look forward to tomorrow’s ‘I don’t knows’ and hiccups. So ‘here we go’ a new page," he added before proceeding to express gratitude on behalf of the band. Bamboo thanked their "friends, fans, supporters and Believers," as well as "the few brave producers out there" and their "business partners throughout the years," including music distributors EMI and PolyEast Records. "This is not goodbye," the message ended. The message began with Bamboo reminiscing about "playing for small venues or to whatever just wanted to sit down and listen to 4 old dogs that refused to grow up and continued to do what we know we were born to do." A successful run of 8 years was, according to Bamboo, already a "lifetime in this [music] business." The band released four commercially successful albums: As the Music Plays (2004), Light Peace Love (2005), We Stand Alone Together (2007), and Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday (2009). PolyEast Records proudly labelled the group as "one of the biggest bands in the country. Never has any rock band been so blessed with the ability to inspire and [the] capacity to affect people with anthemic songs as Bamboo." At the 2007 NU Rock Awards, Bamboo won 6 of the 15 awards given out. The band was named Artist of the Year and Best Live Act, and bagged the Listeners Choice Award. Band members Ira Cruz won as Guitarist of the Year, Nathan Azarcon as Bassist of the Year, and Vic Mercado as Drummer of the Year. Cruz had once explained that "the word bamboo also relates to strength and durability with an ‘island feel’ to it." One other member was formerly with Rivermaya, Nathan Azarcon. It was four years after Mañalac and Azarcon left Rivermaya that they met again. Azarcon brought into the band Cruz and Mercado, both of whom were then members of the pop-ballad band Passage. Bamboo's debut album "As the Music Plays" was released in February 2004 receiving positive response from fans and critics alike. The album also won numerous awards at AWIT Awards, NU107 Rock Awards, and MTV Pilipinas 2004. — RSJ, GMANews.TV